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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Notes from Swirl Sniff Spit's 'Australian Small Winemakers Show Tasting'

Brisbane wine tasting group Swirl Sniff Spit (disclosure: in case you aren't aware, I am one part of the duo that facilitates the Swirl Sniff Spit tastings) was joined by Queensland Winemaker Andy Williams to taste through some Queensland wines from the recent Australian Small Winemakers Show, where Andy was Chairman of Judges.

There was no singular purpose to the tasting, in part we were looking at a mix of wines from emerging grape varieties, in part it was looking at wines from the Granite Belt region; there was some discussion/ raising awareness of the ASWS, along with insight into the wine show system. 

Attendees were introduced to each wine, the typical characteristics of the variety in question and were then invited to smell and taste the wines before reaching their own conclusion as to the medal-worthiness (or otherwise) of the wine in question.

Notes below are my own from the night, with my own 'score' along with the actual score achieved at the show. I wanted to get this up - even though it was some three months ago - as I enjoyed the exercise. Yes, it is about me.

Bracket 1 - Unwooded Whites
Robert Channon Pinot Gris 2013: apple, florals - good aroma; subtle texture, acid - finishing with good texture, phenolics, length. My Score: 17.5/Silver; Actual: 15.5/15/16 Bronze

Robert Channon Verdelho 2013: Estery with good tropicals; clean and crisp - good acids with good balance. Length moderate, texture, finishes well. My Score: 16.5/Bronze; Actual: 15/15/16.5 Bronze

Bracket 2 - Oaked Whites
Mason Chardonnay 2012: Struck match complexity, creamy oak and citrus; fuller palate weight with mineral 'zing, full flavour; textural with good length. My Score: 17.5/Silver Actual: 18.5/18.5/18.5 Gold

Ballandean Viognier 2013: Good varietal aromatics on offer, shows some partial barrel ferment character with hints of ginger/ spice; good length - spice derived. My Score: 16/Bronze Actual: 16/14.5/16 Bronze

Whiskey Gully Colombard 2012: Stone and pine nut; hard acid on the palate which is a touch flat. Little phenolic pinch on the back. My Score: DNS Actual: 15.5/15.5/15.5 Bronze 

Bracket 3 - Tempranillo
Moonrise Estate 2013: Bright, vibrant with blue/red fruits - clearly in the Joven style. Juicy palate, a little tannin but primarily about the fruit. My Score: 15.5/Bronze Actual: 16/14/16.5 Bronze

Banca Ridge 2011: Oak, chocolate/coffee with hints of background fruit; Tannin early - fine grained. Presents a little bitterness at the back end. My Score: 14.5/No Medal Actual: 15/ Bronze

Bracket 4 - Red Bracket 1
Ridgemill Merlot 2012: Oak, cedar and tapenade. Palate shows as a mix of juicy, spicy with fine dusty tannin. Fruit shows through on the finish with quality and persistence. My Score: 17/Bronze Actual: 17.5/16.5/18.5 Silver

Ridgemill Jacquez 2012: Savoury, woody aromatics. Medium bodied, spicy. Tannin a curious combination of fine, yet chewy. My Score: 15.5/Bronze Actual: 16/17/15 Bronze

Preston Peak Sagrantino 2011: Savoury hints; palate shows red berry, black pepper- grainy tannin, concluding with a savoury tail. My Score: 16/Bronze Actual: 16.5/16.5/16.5

Bracket 5 - Red Bracket 2
Pyramids Road Shiraz 2012: Fruit driven, medium bodied and juicy. My Score: 16/Bronze Actual: 17/ Gold

Ballandean Saperavi 2012: Good fruit presence, supporting oak; generosity of spice, ripe tannins. Fine grained tannin, spice with excellent length - persistent. My Score: 18/Silver Actual: 17/18.5/16.5 Silver

Tasted on: Tuesday 19th November
Source: Swirl Sniff Spit
Price: $Free
Alcohol: 5 Brackets
Closure: About 10pm

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